web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


NCSY at 60, Havdalah, What? I’m Not Unique?!

ncsy

It’s hard to believe that NCSY National Conference of Synagogue Youth of the OU is celebrating sixty years of activities and bringing Jewish youth closer to Torah, G-d and the Mitzvot.  I became religious, shomeret mitzvot, aka Orthodox through what I saw, felt and learned in NCSY in the mid-1960′s.

When I went to my first Shabbaton in the fall-early winter of 1963 I knew nothing of Torah Judaism.  Of course I knew that I was Jewish.  My family didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, but we didn’t observe kashrut, Shabbat or most of the Jewish Holidays and certainly none of the fast days besides going to shul on Yom Kippur.

The Judaism I became acquainted with, under the instruction/supervision of Rabbi Pinchas Stolper and Rabbi Chaim Wasserman, who jointly headed NCSY at the time, was a full-time religion.  It would be a lie to claim or imply that I was smitten by my first introduction to Torah Judaism.  The truth is that I was more attracted to the social and organizational life I discovered in NCSY.  In direct contrast to my new life in Great Neck where we had just moved to the summer of 1962, in NCSY I found friends and approval.  Yes, nobody shunned me for wearing the wrong clothes, even though my tops were sleeveless which I knew was against regulations.  The administrators and advisors knew when and where to pick their battles.

As I worked my way up as chapter and regional officer, nobody forced a sweater on me, even at National Convention 1965. I had very carefully and “davkally” chosen my wardrobe without a sleeve or sweater, pushing limits even as I enthusiastically participated and listened to every session/lecture and every event. I also stood out as an energy-filled dancer at all meals and opportunities.  The effect of the mantra-like lyrics of the songs we sang must have sunk in very deeply, though I was unaware.



Nobody was more surprised than myself when during the Havdalah, which ends Shabbat, Rabbi Stolper’s words finally “cracked” my resistance and suddenly I was in tears vowing to bring Shabbat and all of the other Mitzvot to my everyday life.

Please don’t think it was an easy, quick path or battle. I had many hurdles in terms of family, friends and school.  Of course even almost fifty years later I consider it all worth it.  I can’t imagine my life without the Torah, Mitzvot and living in Israel. Friends I made in NCSY are still my friends, and I do my best to be a credit to NCSY.  This picture is up in my home for all to see.

I had always thought that my story about Havdalah being the key to my neshama soul was unique, but apparently it isn’t.  Havdalah is the ceremony that separates the Holy Day of Shabbat with the other days of the week.  It’s the reality check.  We can’t have Shabbat if we don’t do the weekday chores and preparations. In This World we have to balance the two.  It takes six days of work to create and prepare for Shabbat.  Listening to Rabbi Stolper speak, and I don’t remember after all these years decades what he actually said, it was clear to me that I couldn’t continue living without my weekly dose of Shabbat.  From the short video/film that NCSY produced, I wasn’t the only one whose spiritual vulnerability was touched by Havdalah.



Visit Shiloh Musings.

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “NCSY at 60, Havdalah, What? I’m Not Unique?!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Blogs Stories
Ultra Orthodox Jewish youths studying religious texts at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem

In the Hareidi world, Torah study is worshipped to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else matters

IDF vehicles attacked by Hezbollah with anti-tank missiles at northern border.

Chances are, like in the South, terrorists are building a sophisticated network of tunnels in North.

Hezbollah shooting at Har Dov

9:31pm The Mt. Hermon ski resort on the Golan Heights will be open for business tomorrow morning — having receiving permission from the IDF. 8:03pm Channel 2 reports that Hezbollah terror cell was located 5 kilometers from Israel, and not within Israel as originally thought.Soldiers in 2nd vehicle were saved after they jumped out of […]

Jordana Brown: Ready, willing, and able!

I need a job, my friends. A real life, full-time, pay-the-bills, up at 7, home-after-nightfall JOB!

Ha’aretz claiming Glick is “far from a household name to non-English speaking Israelis” is erroneous

Distinguishing between manipulating and influencing people + 3 steps towards positive communication

Despite “excuses” about not wanting to influence Israel’s election Netanyahu’s views should be heard

Israeli leaders deny reality: Nothing we can do will make the Arabs accept a viable Jewish state

How do we make sure the Holocaust is relevant to new generations?

In 2006, Amona kids saw their teachers and rabbis being thrown from windows as if they were garbage

No money should go to terrorists or their families; anyone involved in terror must pay the price

Responsible Jewish outreach encourages BTs to retain and to enhance their relationship with parents

Israelis will vote for Likud because of Caroline Glick, but she’ll just be Right window dressing.

What are the dynamics of running a family business and what are its impact on family relationships?

The Hareidi paper HaMevaser wanted to have their cake and eat it too: use the photo; lose the women

Producer Chuck Wang explains how you can learn from mistakes and move on towards success.

More Articles from Batya Medad
IDF vehicles attacked by Hezbollah with anti-tank missiles at northern border.

Chances are, like in the South, terrorists are building a sophisticated network of tunnels in North.

Caroline Glick wrote the book that challenges the Two State Solution Stranglehold

Ha’aretz claiming Glick is “far from a household name to non-English speaking Israelis” is erroneous

Israeli leaders deny reality: Nothing we can do will make the Arabs accept a viable Jewish state

In 2006, Amona kids saw their teachers and rabbis being thrown from windows as if they were garbage

Israelis will vote for Likud because of Caroline Glick, but she’ll just be Right window dressing.

Chareidi women who want to run for political office don’t suit the full definition of “chareidi.”

France inviting Abbas to the “anti-terror rally” makes me doubt it takes Muslim terrorism seriously

Obama-style diplomacy: “Kerry Brings Hugs and James Taylor to Repair Relations with France”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/ncsy-at-60-havdalah-what-im-not-unique/2014/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: